1 a.m. Refill

It’s 1:00 a.m. and the emergency department is cold. The bright overhead lights illuminate the rows of empty desk chairs. I hear the tap-tap of rubber clogs shuffling in a far corner. There are only two patients here— the man in Room 18 with abdominal pain, and you.

Double Exposure

Our hospital in Jerusalem feels haunted. Not, as one might think, by the ghosts of former patients, but rather by the living…

A Figment of Your Imagination

I am a figment of your imagination. You may laugh skeptically, and I admit there is much that would seem to prove I am anything but…


We tell our kids to give it their best shot before their big exams—calculus, say, or French—or before the championship game on a crisp autumn night, the stands filled with fans in the school colors, the stadium lights bright.

Dispatch From Bewilderness

Probes puncture my scalp, surveying my mind. Temporal lobe, occipital lobe, you name it; there’s a probe for the lobe.

Calling Card

Mary Luce It was a chilly November afternoon in a southern town so small it…

Book Review: Where is the Mercy?

Map of Hope and Sorrow documents our spectacular inadequacy when facing the suffering of our own and in upholding the rights of all.

The Wills of Twenty Strangers

It is eleven o’clock at night, and I am stomping around with half a skull in
my hand. “Where are all the goddamn pipe cleaners?” I ask the room.


Throughout the evening, I hear explanations of why people can’t talk when I call. “I’m cooking dinner for my kids,” women tell me, harried. “You know how it is.”

“My husband will be home soon,” one woman says. “Dinner is our time together.”